Reports are emerging from the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) that armed marauders are looting and robbing residents in the chaos following Hurricane Irma, days after USVI Governor Kenneth Mapp ordered the National Guard to ‘seize firearms and weapons’ before the storm.
Mike Laplac, a resident of St. Thomas, relayed the chilling details in an interview with Fox Business on Monday.
“I actually know of eight people that were robbed in broad daylight with machetes for everything they had in their vehicles, including their fuel,” Laplac told Trish Regan, host of The Intelligence Report. “Yesterday we spent about three and a half hours in a line for fuel, and machetes were pulled there as well. We’re getting stories of people being robbed at gunpoint in their house for something as small as a can of tomato sauce.”
“At night right now in my house we have a couple of guys with me, we’re taking four hour shifts and we’re standing out there with the one pistol that we do have, machetes and flashlights to make sure that nobody comes to loot us without us seeing them,” he said, explaining that the local police’s ability to defend law-abiding citizens is “limited.”
On nearby St. John, “people are roaming like zombies,” says local bar owner, Stacey Alvarado. “They don’t know what to do. The island was wiped out. It’s like the walking dead down there.”
St. Johns blogger, Jenn Manes, issued a desperate cry for help in a viral post on the ‘News of St. John’ Facebook page, citing a collapse of security on the island due to criminals.
“We heard this morning that the Customs building in Cruz Bay was broken into and that guns were stolen. We heard that there was at least three robberies at gunpoint on Gifft Hill,” Manes wrote. “We need help. We need the United States government to step up. We need military. We need security.”
On September 4th, as Hurricane Irma’s trajectory became clearer, USVI Governor Kenneth Mapp issued an order to the National Guard to “seize arms,” which many interpreted as a disarming of the citizenry that would effectively render them defenseless against armed lawbreakers.
“The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission,” he decreed, also adding that the Adjutant General was authorized to, “take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned mission.”
The story quickly garnered attention after it was picked up by the Drudge Report, and Fox host, Tucker Carlson, invited Governor Mapp on to his show, where Mapp denied that the order pertained to confiscations from citizens, offering a convoluted explanation of what was intended by the edict.
While Mapp asserted that he was not legally empowered to confiscate legal firearms from private citizens, Carlson reminded him that is exactly what happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“No one will be able to be armed,” said New Orleans Police Superintendent, P. Eddie Compass, at the time. “We will take all weapons. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.”
While the intention of the governor’s order may have been misconstrued, it is clear that the National Guard has been outmatched by roving bands of armed anarchists, and should serve as a wake-up call to those who implicitly place their safety and security in the control of government.
Circumstances on nearby islands owned by the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands are even worse, with reports of prison breaks, ‘civil unrest,’ and hundreds of looters overwhelming military and law enforcement as thousands are evacuated from the mayhem.